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How do we celebrate?

There’s been a lot of talk around my house lately about moderation. It started when I began discussing trying to find live ducks for Sutton’s birthday party (it was the first after all) and led to talks about how it was important to practice – you guessed it – moderation when it came to our little girl.

Greg was the one doing the talking. I was the one who was supposed to be doing the listening and taking it to heart. And I did.

It took only one trip to the grocery store to realize the importance of saying no. We strolled through the store and Sutton pointed at every item that was brightly colored and wanted to hold each item I put in the cart. It just so happened there were balloons at the checkout line, something that prompted squealing and clapping from her. I was strong, however. We talked about the balloons and then waved bye-bye to them as we left.

That wasn’t a popular move with Sutton.

Still, Greg and I both felt it was important for Sutton to learn the value of a dollar and of hard work. Sure, she’s 14-months-old, but it’s never too early to start. Also, I didn’t want to end up with one of those kids that you see screaming in the store demanding their way.

It was with this in mind that Sutton, Greg and I went shopping last weekend. Sutton needed shoes and we ended up at one of our favorite children’s stores, one brave enough to leave toys out for the children. The idea was for Greg to keep Sutton busy while I picked out and paid for her shoes. I managed to get her to try them and then approached the counter to pay. As I did, I picked up on a conversation behind me. Sutton had found a large (about two feet long) stuffed raccoon – yes, raccoon. She was hugging it tight and Greg was looking like he was about to give in.

I picked her and the raccoon up and then explained how he needed to live at the store. 

“Tell the raccoon goodbye,” I said.

She cried. I stayed strong.

“It’s time to go bye-bye,” I said. “Tell raccoon night-night.”

That didn’t work, either.

Ignoring the crying, I picked her up and walked out. It was hard, but, important for her to learn.

I was putting her in the car when I realized Greg wasn’t with us. 

A couple of minutes later he walked outside the car, raccoon in his hand.

“I thought you weren’t going to buy her everything just because she cried,” I said. 

“It’s not for her,” Greg said. “It’s for me. I’ve always wanted a stuffed raccoon.”

Sure.

– Leada Gore is the publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer. Her column appears on Wednesdays.